Monday, May 27, 2013

Another Blessing of Memorial Day

We think of Memorial Day and thank God for the men and women who gave their lives for freedom.  So often we think of our own freedom, and give thanks that we can worship God freely, pray how we want, read what we want, speak our minds, write what we believe, and play with our families in peace.  And, of course, these are all things the fallen soldiers of our armed services have died for over the last 200-plus years.

Yet, I believe that the fallen soldiers of our country's history have paid the ultimate sacrifice for more than just those things, for more than just temporal enjoyment or earthly freedom.  I firmly believe their complete and irrevocable sacrifice has an eternal impact.  More than granting our own citizens freedom, their sacrifice has made it possible for millions upon millions of people to yearn for life in America and then come to America. And with their coming, those people, who may never have heard the good news otherwise, have learned the good news:  Eternal life with Christ Jesus.  All of this has been made possible because of the great price paid by our fallen men and women of the armed services.

All the wars, all the men and women lost...

The Revolutionary War
The War of 1812
The Mexican-American War
The Civil War
The Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II
The Korean War
The Vietnam War
The Gulf War
The War on Terror... 
and many other wars and conflicts

By God's grace, the sacrificed lives of those men and women have, if nothing else, made a way to bring lost souls to the hope, power, truth, love, and peace of Jesus Christ.  Their sacrifice has not been in vain.  May we continue to make their sacrifice count.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

George W. Rembrandt

The big news in the always busy political art arena is that George W. Bush's sister recently had her e-mail account hacked.  Okay, that wasn't news.  But in her account were e-mails from George, which happened to include images of paintings he created.

The New York Times had an interesting little piece on the First Painter.  I found it to be a somewhat honest and fair critique of his art (not his politics) -- as fair as can be expected from the Grey Lady when discussing the former president.  Here is an excerpt from the article:
"The two paintings could be said to depict the introverted self-absorption for which Mr. Bush is known. Perhaps, he is trying to cleanse himself in a more metaphorical way, seeking a kind of redemption from his less fortuitous decisions as president.
 At the same time, whatever is going on psychologically, the paintings suggest a man, a painter at ease with his body. He gets some credit for directing his gaze at himself, rather than at the more conventional female nude that is many amateur painters’ first choice."
Self-absorption?  Cleanse himself?  Or perhaps he was trying to show that he has nothing to hide.  At any rate, I wouldn't be surprised if many on the other side of the former president politically, now find him a whole lot more intriguing and -- dare I say? -- likable.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Roe v. Wade: 40th Anniversary

In light of Sanctity of Life Sunday coming up this January 20 and then the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade  on January 22, here is a good, short video with words from our President.

We must do something for those of us who are weak and defenseless.  A life is a life.  Be it 24 weeks old or 1 year old or 2 days old.  The same life is in all three stages.  Pray for our President and Congress.  Pray for the unborn.  I am confident, and prayerful, that we will see the end of legalized abortion in America in our lifetime.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One-Issue Voter

"Am I a one-issue voter?" Jasmine responded, repeating the question Gwendolyn asked.  "No, of course not."
"Well, it sure sounds like it," Gwendolyn rejoined.  "When I asked who you were going to vote for, the first thing out of your mouth was something about abortion and not being able to vote for Obama."
"Well, yes, that's true," Jasmine laughed.  "But I'm basing my decision on all kinds of other things as well:  Like too much spending, increasing government control, too high taxes, national security, energy independence, this whole Benghazi thing, which has really caused me concern about our President's integrity.  There's actually a lot.  Not to mention my dad can't get a job.  We're living off my mom's income right now."

Jasmine continued, "But, even if abortion was the only issue, and I was a one-issue voter, would that really be such a bad thing?  Could you really hold that against me?  If abortion truly is what I and others -- and ultrasounds, for that matter -- believe it is, and I didn't make that the issue, then I would be a rather pathetic person.  If abortion truly is murder, murder of innocent little babies never given a chance at life, and I don't make it THE issue of every election, then I'm going to have a lot to answer for when I stand before Christ on judgment day.  

"And what's the big deal with being a one-issue voter anyway?" Jasmine added.  "If this were 1860 and I was making the 1860 election all about slavery -- even though there were other issues, like states' rights and whatever else -- would somebody get mad at me for that too?  If I were voting for Lincoln just because of one issue, would that really be such a bad thing?  And I would humbly submit that as bad as slavery was... abortion is worse."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What are You Doing for Halloween?

That's a very good question someone is bound to ask from time to time.  Here is an answer:

Well, a while back some Ugandan church leaders came to visit a friend of mine.  They came to visit right near the time of Halloween.  And one of the Ugandans, as he was visiting in and around town, asked my friend Tony in a rather somber voice, "Tony, you don't celebrate Halloween, do you?"

And my friend Tony replied, "No.  No, I don't."

The Ugandan was keenly aware that there is an unseen, yet very real, spiritual world.  And even though it may be lighthearted, it is not a good idea to be dabbling in things pertaining to witchcraft, the demonic, or vampires and such things.

So, for that reason, my wife and I don't like to support Halloween either, even if we were only dressing our kids in ninja or princess costumes.  Now, having said that, we do have a hard time passing up an occasion where entire neighborhoods of strangers freely come to your house and/or freely welcome you to theirs.  With that in mind, if the occasion can be used in a harmless* way for the proclamation of the Good News, then we tend to be more amenable to it.  If it's possible to dress up as a ninja and pass out a biography on someone who experienced God mightily... then hand me my mask and plastic saber.

* - Harmless meaning "not wearing costumes trivializing the reality of satanic power" 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Forgotten People

Here is a video that my wife will appreciate. Enjoy. And defer to your introverted friends.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Majesty and the Joy

Christmas is over, I know. Actually, not quite. This is only Day 6 of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and Epiphany is still to come. In light of that, here are two things worth celebrating this Christmas. The first is a very short soundbyte on the wonder of Christmas.

World and Everything - Dec. 24, 11

The second is a story about an awesome new development in Jamaica. I love these kinds of stories and you can really see the genuine delight in the faces of the people in this short video clip from the BBC.

I love how the Gospel according to Luke is titled, Jiizas: di Buk We Luuk Rait bout Im, which you can plainly see is phonetically, "Jesus: the Book That Luke Write about Him." How cool is that? The look on people's faces whenever Jesus becomes real to them in their own heart language, and is not seen as some Western god, has yet to grow old for me. This is what life truly is all about. May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!